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Water supply

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Julien Kobalt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010

What about water? How to re-engineer water supply systems in transition towns?

Nicole Brammy's picture
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Joined: 7 Jan 2010

Hi Julien, i'm not sure where you are from but here in very dry south australia we will eventually have a water group as one of our working groups.

Some of the solutions many people take here..

Each house can have a rainwater tank or many that collects roof runoff with the over flows running into aquaculture ponds and eventually through a gravel pit to replenish the earth and it's aquifers instead of running off to the sea. even small scale ones on balconies can be used for washing machines / toilets / watering plants. In my home we use the rain water for everything (filtered for drinking) we are aware to conserve and avoid switching back to "mains".

Effluent water - there are many options (more difficult for high density but there are people working on it). At my home (in suburban city) we have recently connected a waste water treatment system that utilises worms and microbes to clean and filter the water that is then pumped out through subsurface drip line to irrigate our land (about 180 sq m). One of the first in our city but a great example for people to see the benefit of high nutrient water on the garden and it grows amazing watermelons with no other inputs! (produce no waste!) and it will prevent about 150000 litres of sewage water leaving our property each year.

so self reliance in water collection and closing the water / nutrient cycle (could be community scale waste water treatment plants irrigating edible street trees / community orchard). Rather than being sent out of the community and treated as waste. People then become more vigilant about what they put down their sink because it goes onto their land.

Also could be projects to clean up water supplies. Or even to reinstall public water access (like water fountains in the streets, most have been removed in the last 20 years along with the marketing of water in plastic bottles).

is this what you were after?  cheers, nicole

Julien Kobalt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010

Hi Nicole,

Thank you for your answer, and congratulation for the achievements reached in your town!

To specify my question: i'm currently working on very highly densified cities (in western Europe), where it seems there is no big alternative to collective water supply utilities (not enough space for rainfalls catchments nor rainwater reservoirs, etc.), with raw water from underground/surface water catchments, or alternatively with recycled water...

But under such conditions, what to do, except the obvious solution of reducing energy consumption?

==> Any TT group or local team working on water supply for downtowns, out of house-level options?

thanks!